Friday, July 30, 2010

A list

I'm a little grouchy and experiencing some writer's block, this is all I got, a list of things annoying me lately:

*Back to school adds, I'm not sure what it says about me, but they still make me mad and anxious, reminding me I'll have to go back to school a full month before it starts.  Neither me nor the kiddos are off to school this year, but the feeling that those adds are ruining my summer have never left me.

*When someone costs me 20 cents to text me to tell me that they just called me and left a voice mail and I should listen to it.  Hyper much, I will listen to your message, give me five seconds.  Hey what can I say 20 cents adds up.

*My sweet dog is losing bladder control, we have her on medication for it but it seems to be getting worse all the same.  I love my puppy and I feel bad for her, but I also hate cleaning up pee on my carpet and the fun times of walking around the living room, sniffing the air, and waiting till you step in a wet spot to find it.

*My daughter telling me, "I know! mom" no matter what I say.  Well sweetheart if you know to flush the toilet, how come it never gets done unless I happen to walk by and tell you.

*How the most basic words seem to have left my brain so often these days, "Honey what's that know the thing you walk through, it has a handle and you open it?"  "A door"  "Oh, yes, a door, that's the word."

*My total lack of desire to start exercising and eating healthier, I mean sure I'd love to lose 10 pounds if I could just snap my fingers and make it happen, but working for it, I have no energy for that, which is ironic because if I would only exercise and eat healthier I would have the energy...

*People who complain about silly things on their blog, like I'm doing right now, sorry guys I'll do better next time.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just Peachy

We ended our kid free weekend with a drive to Fredericksburg, or rather around Fredericksburg to get us some peaches!  Kyle was able to find a website that lists all the places near Fredericksburg to buy peaches as well as list of where you can pick your own, in doing this he located a place we had previously picked our own peaches and had never been able to find again.

I like a peach okay, but these peaches you get from the Texas hill country are better than candy, I love these peaches, and really once they're gone I kind of avoid the grocery store peaches because they only depress me.  Kyle decided that this year we were going to get a half bushel, that's a lot for those who need a more technical description.  So we packed up our big box of peaches and went on our way, a quick stop at my favorite antique furniture store in Comfort, then we were back to a family of four.  Where it very quickly went from, 'I'm so glad to see you' to 'Please stop yelling and whining we'll be home soon.'

The main reason Kyle wanted to get a half bushel of peaches was so that I could make my peach cobbler about 20 times, yes it's that good.  The first year we ever got Texas hill country peaches we stopped at a road side stand set up by a farmer.  With the peaches the farmer's wife gave us her peach cobbler recipe.  It is probably the most prized recipe I have, I suppose a peach farmer's wife has a lot of resources available to her to perfect her peach cobbler recipe.

Did I tell you it's good.  It is, as in she's on my list of people who's line I will stand in in heaven to say, 'thank you!' :)

I'm off now to help handyman Kyle in his peach and peach/jalapeno jam making session, but don't worry before I go, the cobbler recipe:

-3c. sliced (peeled) fresh peaches
-1 Tbsp. lemon juice
-1 c. sifted flour (I don't sift and it works fine for me)
-1 c. sugar
-1 tsp. salt
-1 egg beaten
-6 Tbsp. butter, melted
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon

-Place peaches on the bottom of a 10x6x1 1/2 baking dish (I use a 8x8).  Sprinkle with lemon juice.
-Sift flour, sugar, and salt together.
-Add egg, tossing with fork, until crumbly.
-Sprinkle flour/egg mixture over peaches.
-Drizzle with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon (I just eyeball the cinnamon).
-Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

What are you thinking?

We continued our kid free weekend this morning by getting doughnuts (y'all must get the impression that I'm a doughnut eating fool, nah...I just want to be but know that Kyle will say no, and get them once or twice a year).  Anywho, after doughnuts and a little thrift store shopping we headed to the movies.  I really miss going to a movie on a Saturday morning, it's not very crowded and you have to get a snack since the movie will last through lunch time.  We saw Salt with Angelina Jolie and I really enjoyed it, if you liked the Bourne Identity movies with Matt Damon, you'll like Salt, you just have to leave reality at the door, which is fine with me because hello: it's a Movie.  There are however certain men in my life that seem to take issue with all the things which "couldn't really happen" in these action movies.

But the point of this post is the people behind us brought their children with them.  Now this is not a loud child complaint or even a crying child complaint, no it's a what is wrong with you parents complaint. When I noticed those babies (they were probably 2, 4, and 6) my heart started to hurt and I started praying, for protection for them from what they were about to see.  And sure enough the movie starts with a scene with an interrogation scene that was caused me to look away.  Then from there on out it was pretty much shoot em up violence straight through.

I realize that I sound judgmental and that is certainly not my intent, but I really cannot understand how parents decide that it is okay in the name of their own entertainment to expose their children to a movie containing things that will be scary and confusing and will begin to change how they see the world after a time.

The most ironic part of it to me was that there were three G rated movies playing at the same time in that theatre, but instead they took their children to see a PG13 movie.  I know that it is hard raising children, that you yearn for some time when you can leave your life behind and become lost in the movie on the screen, I get that, truly.  But it is not worth the damage done to your children to allow them to be exposed to the cold realities of our world before it is necessary.  I think we all could stand to remember that God who desires what is truly best for our lives warns us to be careful what we put into our minds and hearts and that applies to the movies we watch as well.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.  Let your eyes look straight ahead,  fix your gaze directly before you.  Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.  Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. -Psalms 4:23-27, The Bible

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. -Philippians 4:8, The Bible

Friday, July 23, 2010

The gift of doughnuts and wrinkle reduction

A kid free weekend is upon me.  I got up this morning packed up my belongings and said goodbye to San Antonio as well as the kiddos and the grandparents.

I feel light, like I could maybe, possibly, float a little off the ground, such freedom seems to render me weightless.  I feel full of possibilities, should I go to Target and just walk around and around, should I go for a walk with my love at night just for the heck of it, should I decide last minute to go to a movie, should I file the two years worth of papers in my desk (a job that requires many kid free hours and a lot of floor space).  Or should I, as I did today, just sit still and read or watch TV and be amazed at the silence.

I suppose I'm showing my introverted side right now, but to have 4 hours of silence this afternoon was heavenly.  I kept stopping and just listening to nothing.  When you are used to such noise, loud, loud, noise, the absence of the noise makes the silence that much more amazing.

I'm sitting in the den right now while Kyle cooks me a nice meal he planned and shopped for while I was gone.  I want to eat it and finish every one of my sentences, I want to remember to talk about all of the things that I keep forgetting to tell him when we pass by in the hallways.  I want to sleep until I wake up and then eat doughnuts, although truth be told I always want to eat doughnuts.

The luxury of this weekend is such a gift, it will give me enough patience with the kiddos to get through the summer, it will give me more admiration for my husband for months to come, it will help that wrinkle between my eyebrows become a little less noticeable.  Thanks mom and dad.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Scenes from summer

In Texas you know it's summer when the secadas start their daily serenade, the rise and fall of their songs is hypnotic.  As I sit in my air conditioned house their song seems to bring the heat inside a little.  I have vivid memories of being a little girl in Texas for the summer to visit my grandparents, I would hear their song but never saw the source of it, so I always thought that the noise was the sound that the heat from summer makes.  The secadas' song will always mean Hot to me.

You also know it's summer when after a haircut from Daddy, it works just fine to strip your kiddo down and give them a shower in the front yard with the garden hose.  

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Swim lessons

Kylynn took private swim lessons for the first time this year, I was really pleased with the progress she made, she really seemed to benefit from the one on one attention.   She went from not wanting to get her face wet to diving down to pick up rings, jumping off the diving board, and pushing off the side of the pool and swimming a stroke or two before sinking.

If anyone is interested in getting in touch with the lady who taught Kylynn just email me and I'd be happy to pass on her information, she did a great job and really has a way with children.

Jack absolutely hated every minute of her lessons, the very first one when he realized that I was seriously not going to let him get in the water too, he cried, loudly, the entire 30 minutes.  He got better as the days went on and I know next summer he'll definitely be ready for some lessons of his own.

The kiddos and I our off to visit the grandparents and they've got a pool so I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time practicing her new skills.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's in the mail!

I mailed in our home study to the government today, yipee!  We are officially in the second of three stages in the adoption process (I'm totally making this up as I go, but for me it can be divided into three stages).  Now we wait.  We are in line, so to speak, in Korea for a baby and when it becomes our turn and they have a baby that they feel would do best in our family they'll contact us.  Then in case you're wondering you enter stage three and wait again for permission to go pick them up.

So that's where it stands right now and I feel relieved.  This time around getting all the paperwork in order and sent off too us an extra month compared to last time, so to know that we've finally gotten everything we need to be in line to have a child assigned feels amazing.

On another note we are having a really great lazy summer.  I even have felt bored a time or two, which was if you recall, one of my goals.  I'll post soon some pictures and video of Kylynn's swim lessons, which went really well.  Also I'm making over our study so I'll let you see that project when I'm done with it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Love is not colorblind

What an insightful post on the damage we do to our minority race children when we tell them "Love is colorblind".  It confirmed something I knew deep down inside me, but needed to read to know for sure,
"Love that overlooks is belittling. Love that acknowledges is accepting."-Amie Sexton.
No matter who you are you should go read it.  If you are raising children who are not white, you must read it (honey that means you).

*Updated, there is also a follow up post on the reality of racism in America and communicating that to our children.  Read it!*

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Me time

Kyle gave me the present of some me time this morning. He woke up early got the kids ready and left by 8 am to go to a shooting/boating event our church was putting on. I had made the very big mistake of drinking a glass of tea last night at around 10pm so I had a very restless night of sleep, so step one of me time was sleep.

I slept in till almost 9 and then decided to get up, not really sure what I should do next. I got dressed, wandered around the house a little, checked my email, read some blogs, and thought now what?

I realized I'm really bad and me time. When the kids are here there is always lots to do, so I don't have a hard time being productive, there is something about being busy that makes you get even more things done. But with a whole morning stretched before me I just felt bored and wanted them to come home. I wasn't able to envision me do anything fun that didn't involve them.

I decided to try and enjoy it, so I went to starbucks, came home and did a lesson out of the bible study I'm doing right now, and then settled down to pay some bills and try and plan our vacation.

Really the highlight of my morning was when Kyle called to say that they'd had a great time boating and were off to run several errands, I could hear the kids in the background and their excitement made me excited for them, it also made me wish I was with them and not stuck at home.

I'm not sure when it happened, when I stopped being Jenny, and started being Kylynn's mommy, Jack's mommy, and Kyle's wife, but it appears to have gotten a little out of hand. These are all great roles to play, important roles, life's calling kind of roles, but they cannot be the only role I play or I will not be living out the life God has called me to, of that I am certain.

I am to be His daughter, Jenny, first. I am to make time for my Father God my top priority. I am to have a life that ministers to more people around me than just my family. I am to do something worthwhile outside of these four walls I call home. I used to get that and now I've realized I've gotten off track.

Someday I will no longer be the mommy and maybe not even a wife, certainly in eternity these will no longer be names given to me, but I will be responsible for how I lived my life. God has something more for me while I'm here on this earth and I pray that I will listen to what it is, that I will obey, and not tell Him, no I'm sorry but I'm really too busy right now being a mommy and wife.

It took a little me time to realize, that if I am not careful, I will forget who I am, I will make my family my God and my service to them my religion and I will be wholly unsatisfied.

Lord, remind how you see me, the talents you gave me to serve You, what part of the body I am to play. Cause me to turn my focus outward and use me for Your glory.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

8 simple steps to remove hot pink nail polish

Step by step instructions for cleaning up a bottle of hot pink nail polish which has broken all over your kitchen floor and oven, after being shaken about by a four year old girl.

1. Pick up Kylynn and remove her from the scene of the crime, she has no shoes on and you do not want her to get glass in her feet, more importantly you do not want to her to hear the words that are screaming in your head. Make a mental note that cleaning this up is not going to help your migraine.
2. Go to grab a work towel, on the way there take time to pray that God would have mercy on your beautiful tile floor and stainless steel oven, that you've only got to enjoy for one year and you know your husband would not pay to replace for another 30+ years.
3. Begin to wipe up the polish with the towel, clinch jaw when you realize that it is not just going to wipe up. Yell at your kids who are fighting over the couch that could easily fit ten of them. Go upstairs and grab some nail polish remover.
4. Begin using the nail polish remover on a new work towel, praise God when you realize it appears to be working. Send Kylynn to her room because they can't stop fighting and she is the one who will listen when being sent to her room, when she challenges the fairness of the situation, yell at her, "I'm cleaning up your mess, so I really don't care who was doing what I can't listen to you fighting anymore, go to your room!"
5. Begin the very long process of scrubbing up the hot pink polish that is on the floor and oven, while trying to ignore your headache, make a mental note to change Jack's diaper after your done with this. Hear Kylynn disobey you and come back downstairs, tell her in your meanest mommy voice to go back to her room and wait there for her spanking.
6. Spend 30 minutes scrubbing up the polish, it will take extra work to get it off the oven and the grout. Keep looking everywhere, because the tiny specks will never seem to end because when a bottle breaks open on a tile floor it flies Every. Where.
7. Put towel number one in a plastic bag and throw it all away. Put towel number two in the load of work towels that you washed yesterday and forgot to dry, re-wash load.
8. Tell Kylynn she is never allowed to touch another nail polish bottle, For The Rest Of Her Life!

Monday, July 5, 2010

A bar fight over Lee Green Wood

I love being an American, it is something I am proud of, it is something I realize is a great blessing, but once upon a time I got into a bar fight because I apparently didn't show my patriotism in the appriopiate Texas manner. I truly didn't know any better, where I grew up, the national anthem was the national anthem, and country songs were well country songs.

It was memorial day weekend 2005. Kyle and I had booked a last minute vacation to Fredericksburg, TX, back before kids when you could just up and plan a trip at the last minute. We had a wonderful trip, it is to this day one of my favorite weekends with him. I remember at one point we were talking about how long it was taking us to get pregnant and he assured me that he would make sure I was a mother, no matter what lengths he had to go to, he would get us a baby. It was short and sweet, and it was probably our first discussion where it was understood that we would adopt someday.

But I'm getting off track here, back to my story. We spent this particular day walking around all the shops in town and that night we were plum tired out. So we went to this bar/restaurant that had a live country band playing music that night. We ordered some drinks and some nachos and took a table in the front/middle of the room. The band was really good, the drinks were good, and the nachos were excellent. The band started playing "Proud to be an American" by Lee Green Wood. Now I like that song very much, I think it has a wonderful message, and I admit it, it has even brought some tears to my eyes when I've heard it at the right moment. It's a good song, but that was really as far as I took it.

Then it happened. Some people off to the side of us stood up, they might have taken off their hats too, I couldn't see, anyways this song made them feel like they would like to stand up in honor of what it was saying. Ok, I get that, I didn't really feel the need to stand up, so I kept eating my nachos. Then another person stood up, and I could hear another few hesitantly stand up, crowd mentality was taking over, they didn't know why they were standing, but if everyone else was going to stand then they would too.

At this point we can't see most of the room but we can feel that most people are standing up. Kyle leans over to me and says, "Do you think we should stand up?". I tell him no, it's not the national anthem, it's a country song, my feet are killing me and I'm going to sit here and enjoy my nachos. So that's what we did.

Well it turns out that we were indeed the only people in the room that didn't stand up and after the song was over the band took a break, providing an awesome opportunity for some redneck fool lovely man to come up and harrass us. So he saunters over and says, "I see you didn't stand up during Proud to be American, what, you some kind of Iraqi lovers or something?"

I was mad, no I was livid, Jesus was not winning the battle right then and I was ready to give him a piece of my mind about what kind of idiot thinks I'm somehow less patriotic because I didn't stand up for a country song and further more how much indeed I do love Iraqis and isn't that why we're there anyways, then maybe something good could come out of....

But after I said about one and a half words, Kyle stopped me, with a voice that he rarely uses but one he knows I'll listen to. He then looked away from the man until he left. I then decided to go to the bathroom in an attempt to calm down. This apparently was not very successful because on the way out I saw the redneck fool lovely man again and couldn't help but give him a dirty look (I still wasn't going to let Jesus win this one). He said something like, "You got a problem with me lady." To which I looked at Kyle and saw that I either walk away now and let us leave or he was going to get in a bar fight of his own to defend my honor. So I left.

I know, it's not really a full out bar fight but it's the closest I've ever come. Of course that redneck fool lovely man ruined that beautiful song for me, now everytime I hear it, I think about exactly what I should have said to him, for the record here it is.

"Sir, I'm sorry if I offended you by not standing up during that song, it was not intentional, and I very much am proud to be an American. But really I am a hundred times more proud to be a follower of Jesus, so yes I am an 'Iraqi lover' and my prayer is that the outcome of this war is a country where the Iraqi people can live in freedom, especially the freedom to worship the One true God."

Jesus always wins me over in the end.

Friday, July 2, 2010

An instructional video

As I began to open the dishwasher this afternoon to unload the clean dishes, Kylynn quickly stopped me. "Not like that Mom, you have to open it really carefully like this.."

Please watch the following instructional video on how you should open your dishwasher in the event that there is a raccoon taking a bath in your dishwasher.

Oh, Grandpa, how loved you are around here.

*I wrote this blog almost a month ago, and it took me this long to finally get the video on here, blogger is being mean and will only let you upload through Youtube now.

*Did you notice the belt around the shoulder, oh yeah that's on purpose, this girl doesn't follow fashion trends, she starts them!